Monday, September 26, 2016
Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 1639 (starts 9/28/16)
Title: You Really Got Me
Source: Mono LP: You Really Got Me
Writer(s): Ray Davies
You Really Got Me has been described as the first hard rock song and the track that invented heavy metal. You'll get no argument from me on either of those points
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: The Sound Of Silence
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: Sounds Of Silence)
Writer(s): Paul Simon
The Sound Of Silence was originally an acoustic piece that was included on Simon and Garfunkel's 1964 debut album, Wednesday Morning 3AM. The album went nowhere and was soon deleted from the Columbia Records catalog. Simon and Garfunkel themselves went their separate ways, with Simon moving to London and recording a solo LP, the Paul Simon Songbook. While Simon was in the UK, producer John Simon, who had been working with Bob Dylan on Highway 61 Revisited, pulled out the master tape of The Sound Of Silence and got Dylan's band to add electric instruments to the existing recording. The song was released to local radio stations, where it garnered enough interest to get the modified recording released as a single. It turned out to be a huge hit and prompted Paul Simon to move back to the US and reunite with Art Garfunkel.
Artist: Shadows Of Knight
Title: Dark Side
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Dark Side, written by guitarist Warren Rogers and singer Jim Sohns, is probably the quintessential Shadows of Knight song. It has all the classic elements of a garage rock song: three chords, a blues beat and lots of attitude. Oh, and the lyrics "I love you baby more than birds love the sky". What more can you ask for?
Title: Just One Conception
Source: LP: Time Out! Time In! For Them
Most of the songs on Them's second album without founder Van Morrison, Time Out! Time In! For Them, were written for the band by the wife and husband team of Sharon Pulley and Tom Lane. There were, however, a couple of exceptions, including Just One Conception, which was credited to the band itself. The track, which opens with massive sitar, shows just how deep into the psychedelic pool the original Irish punk band had dived by 1968.
Artist: Johnny Winter
Title: Rollin' And Tumblin'
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released on LP: The Progressive Blues Experiment)
Writer(s): McKinley Morganfield
Label: United Artists (original label: Sonobeat/Imperial)
Johnny Winter's first album, The Progressive Blues Experiment, was originally released in 1968 on the Texas-based Sonobeat label. A ctitical success, it was picked up and reissued on the Imperial label a year later. Most of the songs on the album are covers of blues classics such as Muddy Waters's Rollin' And Tumblin'.
Title: Don't Pass Me By
Source: LP: The Beatles
Writer(s): Richard Starkey
Although it was the first song Ringo Starr ever wrote, Don't Pass Me By did not get released until 1968, when it was inserted between George Harrison's Piggies and Paul McCartney's Why Don't We Do It In The Road on what became known as the White Album. Don't Pass Me By is, to my knowledge, the only song written by Ringo to appear on a Beatles album.
Artist: Ten Years After
Title: (At The) Woodchopper's Ball
Source: European imort CD: Ten Years After (bonus track)
Year: Recorded 1968, released 2015
The first Ten Years After actually did better in the US than in the band's native England, prompting the band to set up their first US tour. Understandable, their record label wanted the band to have a new album out to promote on the tour itself. The problem was that, due to extensive gigging, the band hadn't spent a whole lot of time in the studio since releasing their first LP, and only had about half an album's worth of material recorded. The solution was to rent a place called Klook's Kleek for a night and record the entire performance, releasing it as the band's second album, Undead. Of course this left half an album's worth of studio tracks unreleased for several decades, until Deram put them on a bonus disc when they reissued the first Ten Years After album. As you can hear, their studio version of Woody Herman's signature tune, (At The) Woodchopper's Ball, sounds very much like the version heard on Undead.
Artist: Paul Revere And The Raiders
Title: Just Like Me
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Just Like Me was the first top 10 single from Paul Revere And The Raiders, a band that deserves much more credit than they are generally given. The group started in the early part of the decade in Boise, Idaho, when Revere (his real name) hooked up with saxophonist Mark Lindsay. Like most bands at the time, the Raiders' repertoire consisted mostly of instrumentals, as PA systems were a luxury that required more space than was generally allotted to a small town band. It wasn't long before the Raiders relocated to Portland, Oregon, where they became a popular attraction at various clubs. After a hiatus caused by Revere's stint in the military, the band resumed its place as one of the founding bands of the Portland music scene. They soon made their first visit to a recording studio, recording Richard Berry's Louie Louie at around the same time as another popular Portland band, the Kingsmen. Due as much to superior promotion efforts from Wand Records as anything else, the Kingsmen's version ended up being a huge hit while the Raiders' version was virtually ignored. Undeterred, the band continued to grow in popularity, recording another single in 1964 (Like Long Hair) and going on tour. It was while playing in Hawaii that the band was noticed by none other than Dick Clark, who hired them to be the house band on his new afternoon TV show, Where The Action Is. He also got them a contract with Columbia Records, at the time the second-largest record company in the world. The Raiders were Columbia's first rock band, and they paired the band up with their hippest young producer, Terry Melcher. It was a partnership that would lead to a string of hits, starting with Steppin' Out in 1965. The next record, Just Like Me, was the first of a string of top 10 singles that would last until early 1967, when rapidly changing public tastes made the band seem antiquated compared to up and coming groups like Jefferson Airplane. Just Like Me, despite some rather cheesy lyrics, still holds up well after all these years. Much of the credit for that has to go to Drake Levin, whose innovative double-tracked guitar solo rocked out harder than anything else on top 40 radio at the time (with the possible exception of a couple of well-known Kinks songs).
Title: Hey Joe
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer: Billy Roberts
Label: Rhino (original label: Mira)
In 1966 there were certain songs you had to know how to play if you had any aspirations of being in a band. Among those were Louie Louie, Gloria and Hey Joe. The Byrds' David Crosby claims to have discovered Hey Joe, but was not able to convince his bandmates to record it before their third album. In the meantime, several other bands had recorded the song, including Love (on their first album) and the Leaves. The version of Hey Joe heard here is actually the third recording the Leaves made of the tune. After the first two versions tanked, guitarist Bobby Arlin, who had recently replaced founding member Bill Rinehart on lead guitar, came up with the idea of adding fuzz guitar to the song. It was the missing element that transformed a rather bland song into a hit record (the only national hit the Leaves would have). As a side note, the Leaves credited Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) as the writer of Hey Joe, but California-based folk singer Billy Roberts had copyrighted the song in 1962 and had reportedly been heard playing the tune as early as 1958.
Artist: Blues Magoos
Title: Take My Love
Source: Mono LP: Electric Comic Book
The Blues Magoos were one of the most visible bands to wear the label "psychedelic". In fact, much of what they are remembered for was what they wore onstage: electric suits. They were also one of the first bands to use the term "psychedelic" on a record, (their 1966 debut album was called Psychedelic Lollipop). Unlike some of their wilder jams such as Tobacco Road and a six-minute version of Gloria, Take My Love, from the band's sophomore effort Electric Comic Book, is essentially garage rock done in the Blues Magoos style. That style was defined by the combination of Farfisa organ and electric guitar, the latter depending heavily on reverb and vibrato bar to create an effect of notes soaring off into space.
Artist: Bubble Puppy
Title: Hot Smoke And Sassafras
Source: European import CD: A Gathering Of Promises
Label: Charly (original US label: International Artists)
Bubble Puppy was a band from San Antonio, Texas that relocated to nearby Austin and signed a contract with International Artists, a label already known as the home of legendary Texas psychedelic bands 13th Floor Elevators and Red Crayola. The group hit the national top 20 with Hot Smoke and Sassafras, a song that was originally intended to be a B side, in 1969. Not long after the release of their first LP, A Gathering Or Promises, the band relocated to California and changed their name to Demian, at least in part to disassociate themselves with the then-popular "bubble gum" style (but also because of problems with International Artists).
Title: Love In The City
Source: European import CD: Turtle Soup
Writer(s): The Turtles
Label: Repertoire (original label: White Whale)
One of the most overlooked songs in the Turtles catalog, Love In The City was the last single released from the album Turtle Soup in 1969. At this point the band had gone through various personnel changes, although the group's creative core of Howard Kaylan, Mark Volman and Al Nichol remained intact. Still, as good as Love In The City was, it had become clear that the Turtles had run their last race. After releasing one more single (a rather forgettable balled called Lady-O), the band called it quits. Kaylan and Volman would end up joining the Mothers of Invention, appearing on the legendary Live At Fillmore East album before striking out on their own as the Phlorescent Leech (later shortened to Flo) And Eddie.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: Oh! Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin')
Source: Mono LP: The Rolling Stones Now!
Writer(s): Barbara Lynn Ozen
There was one song on the US-only compilation album The Rolling Stones Now that had not yet appeared in the band's native England. That song was a cover of Barbara Lynn's Oh! Baby (We Got A Good Thing Goin'), which would be included on the UK version of their next LP, Out Of Our Heads. The song was written by Barbara Lynn Ozen, whose story is quite remarkable in its own right. For one thing she was a female R&B artist that wrote her own material at a time when the assembly-line produced Motown sound was coming to dominate the soul charts. Even more unusual, Ozen was a guitarist as well as a vocalist. To top it off, she played left-handed! Her best knows song was You'll Lose A Good Thing, which went all the way to the top of the R&B charts and was later covered by the San Francisco band Cold Blood. Using the stage name Barbara Lynn, Ozen remains active in her native Beaumont, Texas.
Artist: ? And The Mysterians
Title: 96 Tears
Source: 45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s): The Mysterians
Label: Abkco (original label: Cameo)
Although his birth certificate gives the name Rudy Martinez, the leader of the Mysterians had his name legally changed to "?" several years ago. He asserts that he is actually from the planet Mars and has lived among dinosaurs in a past life. Sometimes I feel like I'm living among dinosaurs in this life, so I guess I can relate a little. The band's only major hit, 96 Tears, has the distinction of being the last top 10 single on the Cameo label before Cameo-Parkway went bankrupt and was bought by Allen Klein, who now operates the company as Abkco.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Morning Dew
Source: LP: The Grateful Dead
Label: Warner Brothers
One of the most identifiable songs in the Grateful Dead repertoire, Morning Dew was the first song ever written by Canadian folk singer Bonnie Dobson, who came up with the song in 1961 the morning after having a long discussion with friends about what life might be like following a nuclear holocaust. She began performing the song that year, with the first recorded version appearing on her 1962 live album At Folk City. The song was not published, however, until 1964, when Fred Neil decided to record his own version of the song for his album Tear Down The Walls. The first time the song appeared on a major label was 1966, when Tim Rose recorded it for his self-titled Columbia Records debut album. Rose had secured permission to revise the song and take credit as a co-writer, but his version was virtually identical with the Fred Neil version of the song. Nonetheless, Rose's name has been included on all subsequent recordings (though Dobson gets 75% of the royalties), including the Grateful Dead version heard on their 1967 debut LP.
Title: Gonna Leave A Mark
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer(s): Larry Weigand
Crow was formed in 1967 as South 40, using that name in their native Minneapolis until signing a contract with Amaret Records in 1969.
Although it was a hit in 1970, Crow's most famous song, Evil Woman (Don't Play Your Games With Me), was actually released in 1969 on the band's debut LP, Crow Music. Like many of the band's tunes, the B side of that single, Gonna Leave A Mark, was written by bassist Larry Weigand. Other members of the band included Weigand's brother Dick on guitar, David Wagner on vocals, Kink Middlemist on keyboards and Denny Craswell on drums.
Title: Dead And Gone
Source: 12" EP: Turn Up The Music
I have to admit that until the early 2000s I didn't even know that the Philisteens had recorded an EP called Turn Up The Music as a follow-up to their debut LP. I also have to admit that I've known guitarist Larry Otis (mainly through his brother Jeff...Hi Jeff!) since high school, so I can't claim to have an unbiased opinion of his work (which I consider outstanding). I ran across the EP when going through a stack of albums that had been sitting in a storeroom on the Hobart and William Smith Colleges campus for at least ten years (since WEOS vacated its original basement studios for a free-standing house on the edge of campus that didn't have as much shelf space). So, for your listening pleasure we have, Dead And Gone, a track that I know for sure hasn't been played since at least 1998.
Artist: Chesterfield Kings
Title: You're Gone
Source: LP: Don't Open Til Doomsday
Formed in the late 1970s in Rochester, NY, the Chesterfield Kings (named for an old brand of unfiltered cigarettes that my grandfather used to smoke) were instrumental in setting off the garage band revival of the 1980s. Their earliest records were basically a recreation of the mid-60s garage sound, although by the time their 1987 album, Don't Open Til Doomsday, was released they had gone through some personnel changes that resulted in a harder-edged sound on tracks like You're Gone.
Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Astronomy Domine
Source: CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn (originally released in UK and Canada)
Writer(s): Syd Barrett
Label: Capitol (original label: EMI Columbia)
When the US version of the first Pink Floyd LP, The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, was released on the Tower label, it was missing several tracks that had appeared on the original British version of the album. Among the most notable omissions was the original album's opening track, Astronomy Domine, which was replaced by the non-LP single See Emily Play. Astronomy Domine is a Syd Barrett composition that was a popular part of the band's stage repertoire for several years. The piece is considered one of the earliest examples of "space rock", in part because of the spoken intro (by the band's manager Peter Jenner) reciting the names of the planets (and some moons) of the solar system through a megaphone.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: The Great Banana Hoax
Source: Mono CD: The Complete Reprise Singles (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Real Gone Music/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
After three consecutive singles written by professional songwriters Annette Tucker, Nancie Mantz and Jill Jones, the Electric Prunes were finally given a chance to test the top 40 waters with their own material in late 1967 with the release of The Great Banana Hoax. The song, which had already appeared as the opening track from the band's second LP, Underground, failed to make a dent in the charts and, after one more unsuccessful single, the band's autonomy was usurped by producer Dave Hassinger, to whom the band had signed away the rights to their own name as part of their original contract.
Title: Love Me Two Times
Source: CD: Strange Days
Writer(s): The Doors
Although the second Doors album is sometimes dismissed as being full of tracks that didn't make the cut on the band's debut LP, the fact is that Strange Days contains some of the Doors' best-known tunes. One of those is Love Me Two Times, which was the second single released from the album. The song continues to get heavy airplay on classic rock stations.
Artist: Left Banke
Title: She May Call You Up Tonight
Source: LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Unlike their first two singles, Walk Away Renee and Pretty Ballerina, She May Call You Up Tonight failed to chart, possibly due to the release two months earlier of a song called Ivy Ivy, written by keyboardist Michael Brown and marketed as a Left Banke song. The song was in reality performed entirely by session musicians, including lead vocals by Bert Sommer, who would be one of the acoustic acts on the opening afternoon of the Woodstock festival a couple years later. The resulting fued between Brown and the rest of the band left a large number of radio stations gun shy when came to any record with the name Left Banke on the label, and She May Call You Up Tonight tanked, despite being a fine tune in its own right.
Source: Mono British import CD: Psychedelia At Abbey Road
Year: Recorded 1967, released 1998
One of the most overlooked bands on the British psychedelic scene was a group called Tomorrow. The group was formed in 1966 when vocalist Keith West and guitarist Steve Howe joined forces with bassist Junior Wood and drummer Twink Adler. One of the highlights of the band's stage performances was their cover of the Byrds' Why, which often featured extended solos by Howe. A studio version of Why was recorded, but was not released while the band was still together. In fact, the tape was misplaced for many years, finally surfacing in time to be included on EMI's Psychedelia At Abbey Road collection in 1998. By then Howe had become a major rock star as the guitarist for Yes during their most popular period.
Artist: Black Sabbath
Title: A Bit Of Finger/Sleeping Village/Warning
Source: LP: Black Sabbath
Label: Warner Brothers
According to Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, the band's debut LP was recorded in one day, in a marathon 12-hour session, and mixed the following day. Most of the tracks, including the 14-minute long Warning, were done in one take with no overdubs. The tune itself is listed on the album cover as three separate tracks, even though it is the same continuous piece that appeared on the original UK version of the album. The reason for this is probably so the band could get more in royalties for three compositions than they could for just one. The Grateful Dead did essentially the same thing on their 1968 album Anthem Of The Sun with the 18-minute long track That's It For The Other One. Both albums appeared in the US on the Warner Brothers label.
Title: Bryte 'N' Clear Day
Source: British import CD: Kak-Ola (originally released on LP: Kak)
Label: Big Beat (original label: Epic)
The origins of the band called Kak are a bit on the strange side. Gary Lee Yoder's popular Oxford Circle had just broken up when a guy named Gary Grelecki walked up to the singer/songwriter/guitarist and introduced himself, telling him how much he liked the Oxford Circle and adding that he could get him a record deal with CBS. Yoder, somewhat naively, gave Grelecki his phone number, and a couple months later received a call from Grelecki saying he had landed him a contract with the Epic label. Yoder, not quite knowing whether the offer was for real or not, nonetheless recruited his former bandmate Dehner Patton to play lead guitar. Patton, in turn, brought in percussionist Chris Lockheed, who already knew Yoder from doing some TV production work. In early 1968 they recruited drummer Joe-Dave Damrell, and Kak was born (the name coming from college professor Dan Phillips, who had come up with the concept of Kak as being something like a joker in a deck of cards that could mean anything you want it to. Around this time Yoder learned that Grelecki's father was in the CIA, and actually did have contacts at Columbia Records, using record distribution outlets in the Far East as fronts for various covert activities. The new band got to work on their debut LP, releasing it in 1969. Yoder wrote all the band's material, mostly by himself, but sometimes in collaboration with Grelecki on songs such as Bryte 'N' Clear, a tune that sounds like it could have come from a 70s Texas boogie band like ZZ Top.
Artist: Steve Miller Band
Title: Lucky Man/Gangster Of Love/ You're So Fine
Source: CD: Sailor
The Steve Miller Band's second album, Sailor, was the last to feature original members Jim Peterman and Boz Scaggs. The album is less overtly psychedelic than its predecessor, Children Of The Future, instead shifting the focus to more of a blues-rock sound. This can be heard on the medley of tunes heard on side two of the album. Lucky Man is a Peterman original, while Gangster Of Love came from Johnny "Guitar" Watson. The final part of the trilogy was Jimmy Reed's You're So Fine. Miller made an in-song reference to Gangster Of Love a few years later in his hit tune The Joker.
Title: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor
Source: CD: Over, Under, Sideways, Down (originally released in US only as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer: Jim McCarty
Label: Raven (original label: Epic)
By 1967 the Yardbirds had moved far away from the blues roots and were on their fourth lead guitarist, studio whiz Jimmy Page. Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor shows signs of Page's innovative guitar style (such as using a violin bow) that would help define 70s rock with his next band, Led Zeppelin.